Today’s post is the second of a three-part series I’m creating on some of my personal interests. Last week, I wrote about metaphysics; this week, I’m writing about spirituality; and next week, I’ll be writing about music.

Of course, the metaphysical and spiritual are closely aligned. Anyone who believes in God would probably say so, at any rate. But because some of my readers are undoubtedly atheist or agnostic, I figure a post about spirituality can be differentiated from one about metaphysics. After all, one can ponder metaphysical questions without being a “believer.”

I started out life believing what I was taught by my parents and the church. I’d say I had something of a relationship with God, or, if you like, a Higher Power. The terms of that relationship, however, were dictated by what adults told me.

 

And Then I Grew Up

As I got older, I turned away from religion. My interest in spirits (the drinkable kind) was stronger than my interest in spirituality for a good five to ten years.

But even in the midst of hedonistic pursuits, I was always looking for a spiritual answer. I recall with great clarity how I experimented with psychedelics in my search. When I caught a glimpse of a crowd in the midst of what I considered a revelatory vision, I was disappointed that it was just some people.

Like one of my musical heroes, Syd Barrett, I “reached for the secret” at a young age. And when I felt that the answer was people, I had a hard time accepting that. It didn’t seem like enough; they didn’t seem like enough.

 

But I Still Hadn’t Really Grown Up

And so it went, until I got into recovery in 1989. At age 24, I discovered that I had the emotional maturity of a two-year-old, and by then, my relationship with any sort of Higher Power had atrophied into nothingness. I was lost.

Luckily, I found that my recovery friends didn’t impose religious beliefs on me. They told me I was free to choose my own conception of a Higher Power. I studied The Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching, listened to Alan Watts lectures, and began a devotion to meditation that—although it wavered at certain points—has persisted to this day.

Some of these concerns feature in the “biographical fiction” aspects of my latest novel, Whizzers. Others have never made it into my novels, and probably never will. I say probably because, hey, never say never.

What about you? Are there interests that inform your work, or influence what you like to read? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

metaphysics

Psychology Is Sort of a Hobby of Mine, or Why I’ve Always Been So Interested In Metaphysics

I chose the image above for today's blog post for a couple reasons: first, it's cool, but second, it's also kind of all over the place. And isn't that what metaphysics are all about?A quick Google search shows the definition of metaphysics as "a field of philosophy...
creativity

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #5: Creativity vs. Money

One of the most daunting questions amateur writers face is whether they can make money following their most creative pursuits. Are they too non-commercial? Will an agent be interested? Will my work sell at all? The question of Creativity vs. Money isn’t relevant for...
ISBN

More Fun With the ISBN Number

I've grown so accustomed to cranking out my blog posts on Monday afternoons, I almost forgot to schedule one for today. Thanks to the magic of WordPress, I can write this in the morning and schedule it for the afternoon. By the time you're reading this, I'll be out on...
presidents

Presidents’ Day: Crappy Holiday Or The Crappiest Holiday?

“The buck stops here.” —Harry S. Truman “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” —John F. Kennedy “I don’t take any responsibility at all.” —That guy   I’m old—so old I remember when we celebrated George Washington’s...

Blogging About…Blogging?

Last week I blogged a bit about my upcoming relaunch of Miles of Files and the accompanying blog tour. This week, I'm not delivering just more of the same. Other exciting events are afoot! First off, I'm pleased to announce that I'm going to be hosting another guest...

Goin’ Home

About a million years ago, I read a Peanuts cartoon quoting Thomas Wolfe: "You can't go home again." Perhaps fifteen years later, I discovered Wolfe in a lit class, and read Look Homeward, Angel. Eventually, I also got through You Can't Go Home Again, along with a few...
music

“Music Hath Charms to Soothe a Savage Breast”

So wrote William Congreve in 1697, and it’s still true today. Of course, not everyone today understands that “hath” meant “has,” or that a “savage breast” was another way of saying “wild heart.” And these days, more music is made to stimulate than to calm.My own...

How Do You Write A Book?

This past week I had the chance to talk to a fair number of business owners. That's normal for what I do, but the interesting thing this week was the similarity of the conversations. Not all entrepreneurs ask me the same things. Some ask me what I do. Many of them end...
process

Create A Process That Works For YOU

This week’s topic: create a process that works for you. I can’t tell you how many times a fellow author’s quote has upset me for the simple reason that their opinion is presented as fact. Here are a few examples: “Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by...
Miles

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

I wrote most of Miles of Files between 2007 and 2015. I felt my first novel had been an artistic success, but I wasn't so sure about the second one. Now, I'd moved on to this third novel without having found a publisher for either of the first two. And it was totally...